Today I want to talk to you about a graphic novel that explores the horrors of World War One in a really unique way. The book is called Goddamn this war by Jacques Tardy, and it’s a must-read for anyone interested in graphic novels or the history of War.
Jacques Tardy is a famous French comic book artist and writer known for his distinctive gritty art style, and his commitment to exploring complex, historical and political themes in his work. in Goddamn this war, Tardy collaborates with French historian and illustrator, Jean-Pierre Verne, to create a compelling first-person narrative of the war.
The story follows an unnamed soldier who goes to the front lines in 1914. Through the soldier’s eyes, we get a sense of what it must have been like to be there in a somewhat realistic, but still cartoon style. We see the brutality and pointless nature of war, as well as the psychological and physical trauma that the soldiers had to deal with.
One thing that makes Goddamn This War stand out is Tardy’s art style. He uses scratchy cross-hatching lines to give his illustrations depth and texture while still making these characters detailed and expressive. The colour palette is subdued with muted tones, and not a lot of brightness, which fits the often grim subject matter.
The book is split into four chronological chapters, one for each year of the First World War. The bold colours of the early chapters fade into a grimy near monochrome as the war drags on. We get a comprehensive look at a variety of interconnected events of the First World War, rather than just focusing on the life of one soldier.
But the real strength of Goddamn This War is its focus on its on the experiences of regular soldiers. Our soldier and his buddies go through all sorts of terrible stuff like trench warfare gas attacks. And we see the absurdity of war-like experiments and the war equipment created by the Office of Inventions. But it’s not just physical stuff they also deal with PTSD and all kinds of psychological trauma.
Overall, this book is an amazing read the artwork is fantastic, and the historical research is detailed, especially in the back of the book where they’ve added some historical photographs and documentation about the war.
If you’re interested in graphic novels or the history of war, I recommend checking out Goddamn This War.
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